Decluttering Part 2: Why is tidying up different to decluttering
We sat down with Gemma Quinn, Master KonMari™ Consultant, to discuss why tidying up is different to decluttering.
Tidying up is a lovely journey whereas decluttering is getting rid of things.
Tidying up allows you to focus on what makes you happy and to recall why you love those things and feel the need to reengage with them. The ‘Spark Joy’ concept from the KonMari Method™ provides a structure which allows you to make a decision on how much value you have on a thing, or what makes you happy rather than thinking about waste or guilt.
Focusing on what Sparks Joy helps people let go of things through gratitude and purpose and is a future focussed activity.
Gemma explains this is a massive part of the emotional process and removes negative associations with letting go of old possessions, particularly in times of grief.
“If you recognise that the object has served a purpose, you cherish the happy memory associated with it (or if it has a negative associated feeling), let it go or give it away to be of value elsewhere, so the item never feels like it was wasted.
“This is where the life changing magic happens because each time you do that, you understand more of yourself.
“When you understand what makes you feel happy, excited, joy and love you trust the process and begin to laugh at yourself for holding on to items that do not ignite a fire inside.
“You grow and understand your sensitivity to what brings you joy through the process, it just gets better and better,” Gemma explains.
By letting go of items that have a negative emotion attached to them, you’re creating a wonderfully beautiful home that’s full of things you absolutely love.
Isolation tidy up
Make the most of your time at home to reorganise and revitalise your ideal life and be happy.
If you’re thinking about downsizing but have a few roadblocks in the way, such as decluttering and tidying up the spare room, the garage, the hallway cupboard, (or all of those)… now’s the season to look into an isolation tidy up.
It’s also a perfect time to discover more about the how-to’s to downsizing and decluttering your home. We ask Gemma a few Q&A’s on how to maximise your tidy up.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A COUPLE TO LET GO OF 40 YEARS OF STUFF?
Yes, absolutely. It shouldn’t be about ‘letting go’. It’s about choosing what you love and finding other ways your items could be of value to someone else and change their life for the better. Sentimental items are hard, put them to one side and tidy them last. By doing this it’s liberating and you can get on with living your ideal life.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST HURDLE FOR BABY BOOMERS?
You can’t live an ideal life if you’re living in the past. Getting Baby Boomers to understand if they can stop buying, it saves them a lot of money. Money that can be used going on a cruise etc.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THEIR DOWNSIZING JOURNEY?
Downsizers know what life is about and what makes them happy. They know life is hard, short and things can change. Embrace the now and the joy, don’t let the past, any obligations or the ‘what if’ hold you back or stop you from living your best life.
WOULD YOU SAY THE INCREASE IN DOWNSIZING BABY BOOMERS SEES AN INCREASE IN ADULTS NOT WANTING JUNK?
People have gone from post war frugality, to accumulating things through a family life and now, there is a mass of cheaply made products. So now people don’t know what to do with the items they’ve accumulated, as they don’t have the same value they once did.
Those wanting to tidy up are at a crux in their life and need to do it or, they have something they need to let go of. People often want change in their life but don’t know what it is.
The KonMari Method™ allows them to work this out as they’re questioning everything. It’s about the connection to your belongings and the joy they bring you.
IS IT OK TO GIVE AWAY GIFTS?
The purpose of gifts is to be given. Once that’s happened it’s okay for them to be let go and for someone else to enjoy them.
WHAT ABOUT SENTIMENTAL ITEMS
Sentimental items are tidied last, so by the time you go to tidy them, you have changed and you see them from a different perspective. You’re able to clearly see what does/doesn’t ‘Spark Joy’.
AND WHAT ABOUT PURCHASING AN ITEM/BARELY WORN IT/GUILT OVER THROWING IT AWAY
This can be hard for people to deal with, as it can identify emotions of guilt or regret, however if you acknowledge these emotions and thank the items for teaching you these, it’s far easier to let them go and learn a lesson.
If you don’t let them go, and they’re in your wardrobe, subconsciously you will be experiencing those emotions each time you see them. So, I think it’s better to cut your losses, acknowledge them and send them on their way.
HOW DO YOU ORGANISE THE ITEMS YOU’RE KEEPING?
We give everything a home (tip: use lots of small boxes), store vertically and store like with like.
FEELINGS AFTER A KONMARI™ CONSULT
Every single person says they feel liberated. Some clients might have a hard moment or two, as by dealing with our belongings we’re dealing with ourselves, however I am there to support and guide them through the process.
HOW CAN YOU UNLOCK OTHER AREAS OF LIFE AFTER A TIDY UP?
It naturally happens. It operates in a parallel system. After a tidy up, you question why you have wasted time and money on buying an item that doesn’t ‘Spark Joy’. This mentality crosses over to all aspects and you learn a certain structure that helps you live a life of joy.
You begin to change and that can help with your money, health, relationships and mentally; it infuses into every aspect of your life.